Person of Interest: The Crossing

“You’re stuck with me, remember? See you on the other side.”

This is not the Person of Interest I started watching two years ago.

Why, God? WHY? Why Carter? Fusco, I could’ve taken Fusco. I might’ve even been able to deal with Reese, but CARTER? DETECTIVE JOCELYN CARTER?

It made sense for the show to kill off a major character. Here, EPs Jonathan Nolan Greg Plageman talk about how it’s important to keep an audience from falling into complacency over the longevity of their favorite characters. (Minor spoilers for next week’s episode). Team Machine plays a high stakes game week in and week out and it made sense for one of their number to fall sooner or later. But I must ask again: why did it have to be Carter?

The PoI PTBs did a fabulous job with the foreshadowing. Both Fusco and Reese’s demises were clearly telegraphed in this episode. We saw Fusco with his son (always a danger sign) and listened to Reese talk about how he wanted to kill himself and profess his feelings for Carter before making the big self-sacrifice play. All of the “Carter is going to die” red flags were there, but they were there last week. Taylor was brought back and Paul was introduced, as if prematurely reassuring us that Taylor will be okay because he has his dad. We saw her begin her career on the police force as an idealist and saw that idealism turn to a steely determination to help the world become the place she thought it should be.

We got some great moments of her this week. She talked about her near death experience in Iraq and her son’s birth. She floored Finch when she revealed she had figured out the Machine. And, of course, I finally got my big Reese and Carter moment. There were a few of them, actually. The worst one was, of course, her dying in his arms as he cradled her and kissed her forehead. Oh, it hurt so much. Her death was beautiful, though. They didn’t make it as huge of a moment as it could’ve been which felt more organic. It rather reminded me of the episode of Law & Order where Claire Kincaid died. There was no emotional welling up of music. It was stark. It was cold. It was bitter.

The episode also reminded me of [insert any Whedon show here]. A couple gets together only to have one member of that couple tragically die in the same freaking episode? I think Jonathan Nolan might owe Joss some royalties on this one.

I don’t have much to day about this episode that’s not Carter-centric. In light of her death, everything else just seems so insignificant. I really liked Fusco’s scenes. It’s nice to see Kevin Chapman again. He was amazing talking to his son through what he thought would be his death. I cried. I was totally convinced that a) he was going to die and b) they were going to kill his son, too. I can honestly say I’ve never been happier to see Shaw. She was used only minimally this week, which felt right. If she hadn’t been there at all it would’ve been strange, but I liked that the episode focused on our original core four more than on the newbies.

Root’s scenes, on the other hand, seemed weirdly intrusive. It made technical sense that Finch would go to her for help and I think they’re setting up something with Finch and guilt over what he could’ve done for a future arc, but it just didn’t seem to fit to me. Am I alone?

For the first time in a long time, HR felt like a real threat. Carter and Reese making their way through New York alone was legitimately scary. Dirty cops and criminals around every corner, literally. It does raise questions of how they were able to rebuild the organization so rapidly as most of their members are supposed to be in jail and a number got nabbed by the FBI last week.

Bits and Pieces:

How in the world did Person of Interest manage to keep this a secret?

I know HR’s evil and all, but you really have to admire the organization of their criminal network.

Simmons cracking the fortune cookies open was supposed to be threatening, but all I could think about was the crumbs he must have left on his hands and how he was going to brush them off without losing the menace factor.

Carter and Reese reciting their first lines to each other again broke my heart into a million pieces.


Reese: “We won’t be outmatched for long. Finch is sending the cavalry.”
How sweet is it that Reese thinks he, Carter, Shaw, and Fusco are evenly matched with every dirty cop in New York City?

Fusco: (to Shaw) “You know the dog’s the only one who likes you, right?”

Reese: “There was a time I thought about saying goodbye. Lost someone. Lost myself.”
Carter: “What happened? What stopped you?”
Reese: “Got in a fight with some punks on a subway. Cop detained me, brought me to you. You changed my mind, Joss. You changed me.”

Shaw: “I had to choose. I figured you’d want me to come here instead.”

HR Guy: “Who are you?”
Finch: “I’m the guy that’s going to catch you when you fall. (drops guy) Sorry, I’m not very good at this.”

Reese: “I’m out of bullets and out of time.”

Carter: “This used to be your city. Not anymore.”

Reese: “If my number was up, I’m just glad I was with you, the one I’d rather be with at the end.”

Carter: “John, don’t let this...”

four out of four shattered hearts phones

sunbunny, Person of Interest and Bear the Dog fangirl


Anonymous said...

Very intense episode. And totally heart breaking.

Nick said...

This episode floored me. What a great episode. At the same time - what a horrible episode. The misdirection was absolutely flawless. Making us think she would die in the previous episode just made her seem safer this time, and with the double foreshadowing of both Fusco's and Reese's death made it seem likely it would have been either of them (probably Reese's, since they advertised Fusco's death more heavily in the promo - seemed misleading). But then they killed Carter. NOOOO.

I'm really glad Fusco didn't die, and he got some amazing scenes this week. He managed to by emotional, furious AND a badass all in one scene - the look on his face when he strangled the HR cop was amazingly scary.

Glad Reese didn't die too, but I really thought he would bite the bullet - especially at the end. C'mon, we KNEW Simmons was going to pop up and ambush them, but with him shooting John first I thought he'd take the hit - instead Carter went down. Heartbreaking.

The short-lived Reese-Carter romance was the only thing that felt a little out of place for me, though. It was like they put it in this episode purely for two reasons: 1) to make the foreshadowing of Reese's death seem more serious, and 2) to make Carter's death more of an impact (which it would have been, anyway). It's not that it wouldn't have worked (in fact it mostly went OK, props to Jim Caviezel and Taraji Henson for selling it), but that I never really felt there was much between them to justify it. Carter 'changing' his mind? But it was Finch who gave him something to do with his life, wasn't it?

Other than that, though - mindblowing episode. Tragic and heartbreaking, but mindblowing. Hopefully they don't lose steam after this one, although with HR finally gone I'm not sure how they'll top this next episode. And I'm glad they finally made HR seem like a real, living threat before closing up that plotline.

Was great reading this review; awesome reviews like these exist so we can all commiserate when a good TV show decides to up its stakes and go to the next level. Thanks.

rebecca_s921 said...

I spent the whole episode clutching a pillow, filled with fear over which of our favorite do-gooders will be the one to die. For just one second I thought Fusco might be the one. The tension in the episode was maintained so well, that even when Carter marched Quinn into the federal building and happy music started playing, my sense of dread only grew from there, since I know Simmons is still out there and I still don't know who will fall in the end. That it was Carter who died really felt heartbreaking, yet it also felt like a proper, heroic closure for a wonderful character.

Regarding the Root scenes, I didn't feel they're jarring. When Root gave Finch her condolence it sent chills down my spine. It made me wonder if she was speaking from generalities, or if she'd gleaned some larger purpose from her communion with the Machine. I wonder how much regret (if any) Finch will have over losing Joss, over not listening to Root, and how that conflict will play out.

I guess the rest of the season will play out with the anti-surveillance group as the big bad? I wonder how much of a role Elias will have in all this. Here's to more Enrico Colantoni.

ChrisB said...

It is very rare that I get this emotional over an episode of television. I cried through the last two thirds of it. By the end, I was a mess.

I knew that someone was going to die, and that whomever it was would upset me. I didn't think I would react quite this way.

Carter has always been the most wonderful of characters. Able to relate to everyone around her with compassion and levelheadedness, she has been the one to keep everyone on the straight and narrow. Her individual relationships with Fusco, Finch and Reese have also been fun to watch.

Which brings me to the romance. More than once, I had a sense that these two were drawing closer together. I didn't think the writers would go there, and, to be honest, it felt a tad manipulative to me. I actually re-watched the pilot again before I re-watched this episode. Yes, they had a nice moment in the precinct, but it was Finch who saved Reese much more than Carter did -- at least then.

I'm willing to forgive a bit of ret-con as I loved seeing these two together and their two scenes in the morgue were simply lovely. Topped only by their recreating their meeting in the station. At that point, I knew one of them would go and the tears became a torrent.

The final scene was a masterpiece. The incessantly ringing phone while we watched Carter die in Reese's arms (foreshadowed by Fusco saying the best any of them can hope for is to have someone to hold their hand while they bleed out) was not something I will forget in a hurry.

migmit said...

Carter died, taking HR with her. Reese was risking his life saving her. Shaw was her usual shoving-grenades-in-hands self. Even Finch did some action.

But. Lionel Fusco. That's the real hero. He had one shot at his captor — and he made it count. He turned his broken fingers into an advantage. The moment he knew that the bad guys don't have leverage over him anymore — he changed completely. He became focused. Determined. And menacing. Handcuffed, beaten, injured Fusco was scarier than Simmons when he tortured him.

He was simply great.

Mark Greig said...

Wow, that was one exceptional, albeit emotionally crippling, piece of television. Now if you'll excuse me I'm just going to curl up into a ball and cry until next week's inevitable roaring rampage of revenge.

Josie Kafka said...

This was a wonderful episode. And horribly sad, of course.

I'll really miss Joss, although my affection for the Reese/Finch bromance made me a little surprised by the Joss/Reese romance. It'd be interesting to watch past episodes and see if I can catch a glimmer of them flirting.

I did spend the entire episode playing the "Who will die?" game inside my head. Way to keep me guessing, PoI.

Josie Kafka said...

Interesting information regarding the kiss in an interview with Nolan:

sunbunny said...

WOW. That's sort of crazy. Everyone read Josie's link!!

Freeman said...

Man, that was a great episode. It really did seem like anyone could die at any moment. And they totally tricked me by thinking Carter already had her close call. But thinking back on the season so far, it made the most sense. At least she got a great send-off.

It was great seeing Fusco take out that one fellow. His rage was palpable. It's nice that he seems to have a new buddy in the form of Shaw now.

Sweet mercy that Simmons is a friggin' roach. I wonder what crack he'll be hiding under this time. Reese should just stop kissing ladies, it's never gonna work out man. He's like an unfortunate cross between Batman and Wolverine (which actually was a thing once upon a time). I wouldn't be surprised if Reese is doomed to wander, everyone he cares about constantly dying, and him always missing that bullet he desperately craves.

I'm glad that Root was at least a super side character in this episode. I was worried when Finch went over to her that they already were doing the "Root/Team Machine team-up episode." I think her interaction with Finch sets up the possibility of a lot of guilt on Finch's part. Odds are very high that if he asked her for help Carter wouldn't have died. Also her scenes showed that Root is aware of Finch and Reese's earlier connection. Information she could use to drive a wedge between them.

Billie Doux said...

I had a feeling it was going to be Carter and I did *not* want it to be her -- bad PoI powers that be, no biscuit! I honestly would have rather they take out Reese. Who is going to tromp Simmons into a nasty, slimy paste next week. It's going to be epic.

Wow. That article Josie posted -- that was lovely. The kiss really wasn't scripted?

Fusco was terrific. I honestly thought he was going to die, and his last words to his son were so touching. And I absolutely loved what Shaw did. She may not be big on the normal range of emotions, but she knew what the bad guys would do and what Fusco would want her to do, and she just did it.

Would Finch have kept Carter alive if he'd let Root help? And how about what Root said about Finch's previous Reeses all dying???

And finally -- is it me or is Caviezel's mutter getting more indistinct with every episode?

Terrific review, sunbunny.

sunbunny said...

Billie - "is it me or is Caviezel's mutter getting more indistinct with every episode?"

DEFINITELY not you. He was nigh indecipherable at points. Transcribing quotes this week was a bitch.

Anonymous said...

this episode confirmed for me one thing. samatha shaw is the balance of zoey morgan and joss carter in terms of personality. she is broken right now and on a journey(who is she? what she wants?). john reese has defined himself according to the job and woman he is with thus far. he is broken too and on a journey(who is he? what he wants?). it actually puts shaw/reese conversations in a new light(they see a lot of themselves in each other).

ChrisB said...

Kevin Chapman won TVLine's Performer of the Week. Taraji Henson is also mentioned.

Preta said...

I still miss the character of Carter but saw it coming a while ago, now very sadly there are NO more black ones to look forward to watching. Not trying to sound racist or start a debate, just don't understand why it had to go down this way? There's a hole left and I know they don't care if it's filled, but Taraji's character really did bring something important to the show, now that's gone forever. Don't want to see a lot of gun action, and karate girl stuff but I guess that's what they'll be doing from now on. Will buy the dvd's of Season's 1-3, so that I can see Carter in action again.